Andrew Robert Black died on Dec. 6 at his home in Essex, Vt. In lieu of flowers, his family asked friends and family to donate to the local nonprofit Green Mountain Club in his name, as he loved hiking the Green Mountain Trails.
“Additionally, the family asks that you please consider lobbying your State Representative,” Black’s obituary, published in the Burlington Free Press, read. The family asked that people send the following message: “In honor of Andrew R. Black, we ask that you work for legislation that imposes a reasonable waiting period between firearm purchase and possession to provide a cooling off period to guard against impulsive acts of violence.”
Andrew’s mom, Alyssa Hughes Black, told the Associated Press that her son bought a gun the morning of Dec. 6 and used it to shoot himself later that day. Vermont currently doesn’t require a waiting period for those who buy a gun, but Alyssa believes her son’s death proves the need for such a requirement.
Nearly 23,000 Americans used a gun to take their own life in 2016, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — 51 percent of all suicides that year.
Alyssa remembered Andrew in a Facebook post as “a beautiful, funny, talented and kind young man” who was loved by everyone. “He was the glue that always kept us deeply connected and he was the bright joy that always kept us laughing,” she wrote.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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